Monday, August 27, 2007

Yet Another Attack, Plus More On The Bogus Hoodia Spammers.

Yet Another Attack, Plus More On The Bogus Hoodia Spammers.

The carpcstore forum is once again under attack, as is

Spammers who are happy to perform DDOS attacks have always struck me as whiny little brats. They didn't get what they want, so they just wander around kicking over everyone else's sandcastles, etc. It's ridiculous.

The stupidest part about these morons is that they think it will shut us up. Or that we'll stop reporting or monitoring them. They could not be more wrong. Not only does this make sure that we don't stop researching and reporting every last one of them, it practically ensures that we'll do so with even more diligence, since it's fairly clear that we're having the desired effect of killing their ability to profit. Law enforcement will also monitor these attacks very closely, since they are a criminal act. With each attack they decide to launch, the evidence mounts and it becomes easier and easier to tell who is behind them, where they are located, etc.

One of these days, someone like me, or one of my colleagues, or possibly some third party none of us are even aware of will eventually become fed up enough about these stupid, childish attacks that they will actually spill farrrr more information on blogs like this one than they ever thought we knew. You can ask mcproxy about that. He knows the depth of research several people have done on his identity, his background, etc. I and others like me have compiled a lo-o-o-ot of background information on many others like him. The mere threat of exposition caused mcproxy to get out of the spamming business entirely. (That wasn't me, btw.) If you're a spammer and you're behind this attack? Or assisted in it? Or donated money towards it? You should really think about that. You should also seriously consider whether you want to be on the receiving end of one of the multiple lawsuits and arrests which have taken place this year alone. There are only going to be more of them, and exposing yourself so publicly with something as ridiculous as a DDOS attack is only going to make that happen much sooner. You obviously failed to glean this from the previous three years' worth of arrests of other botnet operators.

Also: there are a lot of us. Shutting down one piddly form won't silence us. Shutting down my single blog won't shut down the hundreds or thousands of others out there which are all poised to duplicate the exact same data. One way or another: we will continue to thrive.

We, the recipients of your crap emails for fake drugs and "herbal remedies", are sick of you ignoring our pleas to stop spamming us. If you don't like us researching you, maybe you should find a different line of work.

This attack gives me more time to dig even deeper into some research I hadn't had time to pursue anyway. It's also not stopping any of that forum's members to continue to communicate with each other regarding our ongoing investigations.

I just thought that several of you would probably want to keep all of this in mind.

Also as a followup to my previous posting on bogus Hoodia / Anatrim / whatever the hell they're calling this bullshit product this week: Many of you may be aware that the US's Federal Trade Commission has ordered one Brian McDade and his company Neutraceuticals LLC to stop sending Hoodia spam in the hopes of promoting exactly these provably bogus products. The original complaint makes for some pretty good reading.

False Claims for the Hoodia Products

Through the means described in Paragraphs 18-23 above, Defendants have represented, expressly or by implication, that:
a. the Hoodia Products cause rapid and substantial weight loss, including as much as forty pounds in a month;
b. the Hoodia Products cause users to lose safely three or more pounds per week for multiple weeks;
c. the Hoodia Products cause permanent weight loss; and/or
d. scientific research establishes that the Hoodia Products cause substantial weight loss.

In truth and in fact:
a. the Hoodia Products do not cause rapid and substantial weight loss, including as much as forty pounds in a month;
b. the Hoodia Products do not cause users to lose safely three or more pounds per week for multiple weeks;
c. the Hoodia Products do not cause permanent weight loss; and/or
d. scientific research does not establish that the Hoodia Products cause substantial weight loss.

36. Therefore, Defendants' representations as set forth in Paragraph 34 above are false or misleading and constitute a deceptive practice, and the making of false advertisements, in or affecting commerce...

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Hope the rest of you are also having a splendid day.

SiL / IKS / concerned citizen

Friday, August 3, 2007

Thema CUTS = Lying Liars

Therma CUTS is the latest in a long line of bogus so-called "herbal remedies" which spammers claim will promote weight loss. Its predecessors are Anatrim and of course Hoodia, "As seen on ABC, CNN and even the Oprah Winfrey show!!!". Spam for this crap has been thrown out there to tens of millions of people per day, most of whom have absolutely no desire to hear about this totally fake "supplement."

However what sets Therma CUTS apart from most of the other spamvertised products is their complete lack of care about how much they lie. They have an entire page of alleged "testimonials", some of which I will quote here from the recently promoted sight, superbottle dot com:

Michael - Houston, TX
It's not easy to lose excessive weight, moreover, it's kind of... funny for a man to lose weight;-) Meanwhile, after thirty my tummy started to irritate me. Now I think I've found the way to get rid of it! Having no need to change my lifestyle, having no diet to keep and having no time for gym , I've got rid of those several centimeters in waist and now I can wear trousers as if I were twenty.

Ellen (41 y.o.) - Chicago, IL
Having born a baby, then the other one I've become such a Big Mom that I've stopped liking myself! I live too long to believe Draconian curations not mentioning withstanding them...My sister-in-law adviced me Therma Cuts and I got rid of all the fixations. That was so easy! I feel that I live again...T-H-A-N-K-Y-O-U!!!

Graduate - London
From the moment I've recieved Therma Cuts pills for testing I don't have to refuse so many things to like myself. My family was constantly afraid that caring for stature I would get bulimia or even something worse. Now they recommend yor product to other parents, my colegues etc. It's such an age when a man cares for's OK:-)

Peter - Quebec
I've been a sportsman. Now I'm 52. Having terminated my sport career I've started to gain weight rapidly. Life situation only promoted that. This was not a tragedy, but my physision recommended me Therma Cuts - which is a very popular prepapation for weight reduction! I did not have to wait long for first results. I feel myself light and skilfulczuj?. I know something about metabolism and pharmacological ways of its management, that's why I admire natural methods like THERMACuts even more. I couldn't do that wihtout assistance, but I would never decide for chemical one!

Anna 30 y.o. - Dresden
For my friends I pretend that I believe all those diets in glamour magazines. In fact I have my own proven method for health and slenderness - THERMACUTS. The funniest thing is that the envy my beautiful body and think that I'm always on a diet! I visit gym from time to time with my friends but I do this only to...charm men:D

Who are these zombies? And why do they all have the same affectation in their broken English? Who would ever possibly believe that these are genuine? It's patently obvious that the same language-challenged imbecile wrote every single one of these entries, and is likely responsible for every word of the website itself, as well as (of course) the brilliant copy found in the spam messages themselves:

A sleek & swift method to lose excessive pounds is no more a fiction, but truth!

"Therma Cuts" the most effectual way is get rid of pounds in a natural manner.

This is absolutely new natural herbal pharmaceutic that permits you to abate your need for food.

Based on this radical remedy you do not need to wear out yourself with dubious diets and waste your spare time for jogging.

Owing to recent held down a task to make a tablet combining unique natural properties, medicinal characteristics and inferences of multiaspect scientific analysis.

One more weighty advantage of "Therma Cuts" is that there’re no side effects in it! Moreover it aids to improve your health and rejuvenize you organism!

Fill in your life with colours of merriment!!!

Further proof is available in their "How It Works" section:

Therma Cuts helps to lose excessive weight by decreasing energy need and at the same time increasing the use of energy. Why the fight with fat is so effective?

"Why the fight with fat is so effective?"

Why indeed?

Tons more of this crap all over the other pages of the site as well.

And of course they claim to have the support of all the usual organizations, none of whom actually do support them.

Why are people sending their hard-earned cash to a site that can't even properly describe what it is they sell? Why isn't anyone investigating these idiots? (Besides me of course.)

It's unfortunate that a lot of drug laws around the world are so lenient when it comes to herbal supplements. They should be much harsher when it's obvious that an organization is making completely false claims. They feature a jumbled collection of icons at the bottom of every page with the heading "Our Awards" above it. You don't get "awards" from Mastercard or Pharma Checker. You also shouldn't feature an icon claiming you have an SSL secure server when in reality you offer no such protection.

And of course what spammed website would be complete without a stock photo of an anonymous "Doctor", with an endorsement like this beside it:

ThermaCuts is effective and absolutely natural product which effectiveness has been scientifically proved. It has no side effects. It is a safe method of weight reduction without exhausting diets and uncontrolled physical training. I recommend.

That's followed by a signature of "Dr. Jacob Prescott". His writing also sounds a lot like "Peter" up there in the endorsements. This is a ridiculous scam and I for one am amazed that anyone would throw away their money after even glimpsing a few words, let alone reading any complete sentences. This is complete bullshit.

Searching for specific phrases in this website turned up site for a variety of other alleged weight loss remedies including "ThermaZan". All of the copy was identical on these sites, with the exact same list of effects and alleged active ingredients.

The official Spam Wiki also features an article concerning Therma CUTS, and further detailing their myriad bald-faced lies.

To be clear: there are actually several sites out there which have done real investigations into the claims made regarding Hoodia and its brethren like Therma CUTS. Here is only one of several reports questioning the effectiveness of Hoodia. It's clear that the pills are designed to generate high numbers of re-orders, since users require a much higher dose than any of the websites out there claim is adequate. That report does claim that it has its uses, but has so many caveats and warnings surrounding it that it's questionable whether a large percentage of the population should believe it actually assists in weight loss. Add to that the fact that the author of that report also performed a great deal of exercise, probably in stark contrast to the target audience of this spam, and that tends to (pardon the pun) weigh heavily against the claims of these spammers.

Stop ordering this crap, everybody. You are wasting your money and enriching a bunch of losers who have absolutely no actual life skills.

SiL / IKS / concerned citizen